Sustainability and stewardship have become increasingly prominent topics for many financial policymakers and regulators, as well as a wide range of other market participants and stakeholders. These topics cut across a range of connected themes, from growing public attention on sustainability-related themes globally, to the development of sustainable investment practices, products and strategies, set against and often intertwined with debates around the role of public companies, investors and shareholders.

This page provides research and commentary by BlackRock and third parties on topics relating to sustainability as a theme for financial markets and investment, and on corporate governance and stewardship.

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  • Letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Regarding the Green + Gilt Proposal

    Oct 05, 2020
    A letter of support for the Green Finance Institute, Impact Investing Institute and LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment's Green + Gilt Proposal. The proposal emphasizes the strategic potential for a green sovereign bond to scale up the UK’s drive to a net-zero carbon economy with well-defined social and economic benefits. The letter of support is signed by 30 asset owners and investors, including BlackRock.
  • Sustainable investing: resilience amid uncertainty

    May 18, 2020
    This whitepaper analyzes the resilience of sustainable investment strategies in weathering the COVID-19-related market downturn in the 1Q and into 2Q of 2020.
  • Securities Lending Viewed through the Sustainability Lens

    Apr 28, 2020
    In this Spotlight, we explore the intersection of securities lending with short selling and investment stewardship through the lens of sustainable investing.
  • Sustainability: The tectonic shift transforming investing

    Mar 05, 2020
    In this publication, the BlackRock Investment Institute provides a framework for incorporating sustainable investing in portfolio construction.
  • Europe’s listed companies: their governance, shareholders & votes cast

    Feb 16, 2020
    In this ViewPoint, we analyze the ownership of companies in the MSCI Europe index and examined the proxy voting of their 30 largest institutional shareholders.
  • A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance

    Jan 14, 2020
    In his annual letter on corporate governance, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink explores how companies can achieve long-term financial returns.
  • Sustainability as BlackRock’s New Standard for Investing

    Jan 14, 2020
    In this letter to our clients released alongside BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2020 letter, BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee announces how it will incorporate sustainability into various aspects of its investing.
  • Towards a Common Language for Sustainable Investing

    Jan 14, 2020

    In this ViewPoint, we review current global regulatory efforts to develop and implement more standardized terminology for sustainable investing, and we outline recommendations to increase clarity around (i) sustainable investment product naming conventions, (ii) corporate issuer disclosures, and (iii) sustainable economic activities.

  • Sustainability: the bond that endures

    Nov 20, 2019
    In this publication, the BlackRock Investment Institute provides an overview of sustainable investing in the fixed income markets.
  • Getting physical: Scenario analysis for assessing climate-related risks

    Apr 04, 2019

    The BlackRock Investment Institute examines climate-related risks and offers a new set of tools for assessing such risks to portfolios.

  • Sustainability: The future of investing

    Feb 01, 2019

    This paper examines key forces driving a transformation in sustainable investing, and details BlackRock’s efforts to uncover material sustainability insights that can enhance performance.

  • BlackRock Investment Stewardship's approach to engagement on climate risk

    Jan 31, 2019

    This document outlines BlackRock Investment Stewardship's framework for our expectations of companies related to climate risk oversight and disclosure, and our typical approach to engagement and voting around climate-related risks and opportunities.

  • Remarks by Barbara Novick at the Greenwich Roundtable

    Jan 17, 2019

    Remarks by Barbara Novick at the Greenwich Roundtable Panel Discussion on ESG: Path to Prosperity or Philanthropic Confusion.

  • Letter to SEC - Staff Roundtable on the Proxy Process

    Nov 16, 2018

    Letter to the SEC following their Staff Roundtable on the Proxy Process.

  • Remarks by Barbara Novick at the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit

    Oct 16, 2018

    Remarks by Barbara Novick at the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit on “Building Sustainable Markets: What Is Needed For A Transformation To A Sustainable Market Place?”

  • The Investment Stewardship Ecosystem

    Jul 01, 2018

    In this ViewPoint, we review the roles of the stakeholders in the investment stewardship ecosystem, including asset managers, asset owners, index providers, and proxy advisors. We explore the different approaches to investment stewardship, including BlackRock’s engagement-first approach.

  • Sustainable investing: a “why not” moment

    May 09, 2018

    This paper shows why we believe it is feasible to create sustainable portfolios that do not compromise return goals and may even enhance risk-adjusted returns in the long run.

  • Open Letter Regarding Consultation on the Treatment of Unequal Voting Structures in the MSCI Equity Indexes

    Apr 19, 2018

    Letter regarding MSCI's consultation on the Treatment of Unequal Voting Structures in the MSCI Equity Indexes.

  • Adapting portfolios to climate change: Implications and strategies for all investors

    Sep 06, 2016

    In this paper, we explore how investors can mitigate climate risks, take advantage of opportunities, or have a positive impact.

  • Exploring ESG: A Practitioner's Perspective

    Jun 01, 2016

    This ViewPoint sets out BlackRock's views on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and provides recommendations for policy makers to establish a framework that enables stakeholders and market participants to develop detailed ESG standards and best-practice guidelines.

  • The Price of Climate Change: Global Warming's Impact on Portfolios

    Oct 15, 2015

    This paper considers how investors can reduce climate risk in portfolios.

  • Sustainable Finance in Asia Pacific Regulatory State of Play

    Mar 03, 2020 | By Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
    This paper provides an overview of sustainability policy developments to date in major Asia Pacific jurisdictions, as well as the broader evolving international policy environment, examining practical implications, and calling for greater coordination.
  • IIF paper on Simplifying Sustainable Investing terminology

    Nov 06, 2019 | By Institute of International Finance
    This paper sketches out definitions and highlight sources of confusion in sustainable investment terminology that may delay the development of sustainable finance products. The paper suggests clarifying and simplify terminology through standardization.
  • How BlackRock discusses ESG, and what happens when a company pushes back

    Feb 20, 2019 | By Lindsey White

    Lindsey White interviews BlackRock's Michelle Edkins on ESG and BlackRock's engagement with companies.

  • What Investors Want from Sustainability Data

    Feb 01, 2019 | By Ariel Pinchot and Giulia Christianson

    This paper examines the data investors need to evaluate sustainability in their investment decisions, given the potential significance of ESG factors to long-term financial performance.

  • Seeking Return on ESG: Advancing the Reporting Ecosystem to Unlock Impact for Business and Society

    Jan 24, 2019 | By World Economic Forum

    WEF summarizes its initial findings on ESG following an extensive consultation process with diverse stakeholders. The paper identifies three areas that warrant consideration by policy makers and the industry: companies face complexity and challenges in ESG reporting, ESG data is generally difficult to compare given the diverse methodologies for calculation, and there is a lack of transparency on what ESG ratings assess.

  • How to Set Up Effective Climate Governance on Corporate Boards

    Jan 17, 2019 | By World Economic Forum

    This World Economic Forum paper considers guiding principles and key questions for boards of directors to consider in the context of climate risks and opportunities for companies.

  • CII dual share class petition to NASDAQ

    Oct 24, 2018 | By Ash Williams, Ken Bertsch and Jeff Mahoney

    This letter from the Council of Institutional Investors petitions the NASDAQ Stock Market to require companies to convert differential voting rights stock to one share, one vote within seven years of an initial public offering.

  • CII dual share class petition to NYSE

    Oct 24, 2018 | By Ash Williams, Ken Bertsch and Jeff Mahoney

    This letter from the Council of Institutional Investors petitions the New York Stock Exchange to require companies to convert differential voting rights stock to one share, one vote within seven years of an initial public offering.

  • ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk

    Aug 13, 2018 | By Andreas Hoepner, Ioannis Oikonomou, Zacharias Sautner, Laura Starks, Xiaoyan Zhou

    In this paper, the authors examine engagement on ESG issues and find that such engagement can be effective in reducing firms' downside risk. Further, engagement is most effective when addressing strategy or governance issues, and when changes in social policies are coupled with governance improvements.

  • The Third, System Stage of Corporate Governance: Why Institutional Investors Need to Move Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory

    Feb 21, 2018 | By James Hawley and Jon Lukomnik

    This paper examines the focus by institutional owners on corporate governance, with a focus on how modern portfolio theory in the invetsment process impacts corporate governance and behavior.

  • The New Paradigm: A Roadmap for an Implicit Corporate Governance Partnership Between Corporations and Investors to Achieve Long-Term Investment and Growth

    Jan 11, 2017 | By Martin Lipton

    In this paper, Martin Lipton outlines the “New Paradigm”, a corporate governance framework based on the recognition that short-termism hinders long-term economic prosperity. The framework calls for a private sector solution to address this and focus on long-term value.

  • Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality

    Mar 24, 2015 | By Mozaffar Khan, George Serafeim and Aaron Yoon

    This paper examines the use of investments in material sustainabilty issues and finds that such investments can enhance value for investors.

  • Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices

    Mar 30, 2011 | By Alex Edmans

    The author examines the relationship between various intangible factors and stock returns and concludes that certain socially responsible investment screens may improve investment returns.